Blu-ray Disc (official abbreviation BD) is an optical disc storage medium designed to supersede the DVD format. The standard physical medium is a 12 cm plastic optical disc, the same size as DVDs and CDs. Blu-Ray Discs contain 25 GB per layer, with dual layer discs (50 GB) the norm for feature-length video discs and additional layers possible later.
The first Blu-ray Disc prototypes were unveiled in October 2000, and the first prototype player was released in April 2003 in Japan. After that, it continued to be developed until its official release in June 2006.
The name Blu-ray Disc refers to the blue laser used to read the disc, which allows information to be stored at a greater density than is possible with the lasers used for DVDs.
Blu-ray Disc was developed by the Blu-ray Disc Association, a group representing makers of consumer electronics, computer hardware, and motion pictures. As of June 2009, more than 1,500 Blu-ray Disc titles were available in Australia and the United Kingdom, with 2,500 in the United States and Canada. In Japan, as of July 2010[update], more than 3,300 titles were released.
During the high definition optical disc format war, Blu-ray Disc competed with the HD DVD format. Toshiba, the main company that supported HD DVD, conceded in February 2008, releasing their own Blu-ray Disc player in late 2009.